KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Knile Davis scored his first touchdown of the season for the Kansas City Chiefs, rookie Breeland Speaks stopped Ezekiel Elliott for a key third-down stop in the fourth quarter and the Chiefs won their fifth straight, 19-9 over the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night.
The win gives the AFC West-leading Chiefs (6-1) a big cushion over the second-place Raiders (5-2) in the division. It’s also their fifth win in their last six games, and opens a two-game lead in the battle for first place in the wild-card race.
Alex Smith hit Tyreek Hill for the go-ahead score with 10:12 left, after Dak Prescott and Elliott had put the Cowboys (4-3) ahead with a late drive. Cairo Santos kicked a pair of field goals to provide some cushion.
The Cowboys got into the end zone for the 10th straight game, a modern NFL record, when Prescott threw to Cole Beasley for a 5-yard touchdown pass with 53 seconds left. But two penalties wiped the play out, and Kansas City took over with time remaining.
Making matters worse for Dallas, Pro Bowl defensive tackle David Irving was ejected for punching Ryan Succop in the face as the kicker tried to make a 39-yard field goal. It was Cruz’s second ejection of the season.
The victory was the Chiefs’ 11th straight at Arrowhead Stadium, the longest streak in the NFL, and they extended their AFC West-leading streak to six straight wins. They’ve also won eight straight at home, which still holds the league record.
It was just a matter of time before the Chiefs were back in tune offensively.
This much is certain: Kansas City has clearly become the best running team in the league since Kareem Hunt was put in the backfield in Week 3. Even when he’s not available — he was out with a sprained right ankle — the Chiefs are consistently pounding out yards behind a front four that features Speaks and guys such as Allen Bailey, Justin Houston and Tamba Hali.
A new wrinkle for Kansas City was running back Spencer Ware, who got some playing time as the designated change-of-pace to Hunt. He carried eight times for 40 yards, and ran for a career-best 43 yards against Denver last month.
While the running game was working, Smith picked apart the Cowboys secondary. He finished 22 of 37 for 212 yards and a touchdown to Hill, who had four catches for 71 yards.
The Chiefs got a nice early boost when linebacker Frank Zombo took down Prescott on the first play from scrimmage and knocked the ball loose. It was recovered by Justin Houston at the Dallas 47, and Knile Davis plunged in from the 1 on the next play.
The score was set up when Speaks, a first-round pick out of Mississippi State, made a key third-down stop on Elliott. It was part of his four tackles in the fourth quarter and nine overall.